Can I Bring a Space Heater on a Plane?

When it comes to air travel, the question of whether you can bring a space heater on a plane is a common concern for many travelers. The good news is that, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines, you can indeed bring a space heater on a plane, both in your carry-on and checked bags. However, there are specific criteria and requirements that you need to be aware of to ensure a smooth and hassle-free travel experience.

Understanding TSA Guidelines for Space Heaters

The TSA guidelines state that you can bring a space heater on a plane, but it must be a wire-element heater or an infrared heater. Oil-filled space heaters are not permitted, as they are considered a potential fire hazard. Additionally, the final decision on whether a space heater is allowed through the checkpoint rests with the TSA officer.

To ensure your space heater meets the TSA’s requirements, it’s essential to pay attention to the technical specifications. The space heater should comply with the standard voltage and plug specifications for the country of your destination. For instance, in the United States, the standard voltage is 120V with a frequency of 60Hz, and the standard plug type is A or B. It’s crucial to check the voltage and plug type requirements of your destination country to avoid any electrical compatibility issues.

Carry-on and Checked Bag Restrictions

can i bring a space heater on a plane

When it comes to the size and weight of your space heater, the TSA does not provide specific measurements. However, there are general guidelines for carry-on and checked bags that you need to consider.

For carry-on bags, the maximum size limit is 22″ x 14″ x 9″ (including handles and wheels), and the weight limit is 40 lbs. Checked bags, on the other hand, have a maximum size limit of 62 linear inches (length + width + height) and a weight limit that varies by airline, typically between 50 and 70 lbs.

It’s essential to ensure that your space heater, along with any other items in your bag, fits within these dimensions and weight limits. Exceeding these limits may result in additional fees or the need to check your bag, which could potentially delay your travel plans.

DIY Approach: Portable Space Heaters

Some travelers have found success in carrying a personal space heater in their bag, taking a DIY approach. For example, one FlyerTalk member has been using a “My Heat” personal space heater in their bag for over a year, and it has only been searched once.

These compact and portable space heaters can be a viable option for travelers who frequently experience cold environments during their trips. However, it’s important to ensure that your DIY space heater meets the TSA’s criteria for wire-element or infrared heaters and complies with the voltage and plug specifications of your destination.

Additional Considerations

When packing your space heater for air travel, it’s essential to consider the following:

  1. Safety: Ensure that your space heater is in good working condition and does not pose any safety risks, such as overheating or fire hazards.
  2. Accessibility: Pack your space heater in an easily accessible location within your carry-on or checked bag, as you may be asked to present it for inspection during the security screening process.
  3. Airline Policies: While the TSA guidelines allow space heaters, some airlines may have their own policies or restrictions. It’s always a good idea to check with your airline before your trip to ensure that your space heater is permitted.


In summary, bringing a space heater on a plane is generally allowed by the TSA, but it’s crucial to ensure that the heater meets specific criteria and complies with voltage and plug specifications. By understanding the size and weight restrictions for carry-on and checked bags, as well as considering the DIY approach with portable space heaters, you can successfully and safely travel with your space heater.

Remember, the final decision on whether your space heater is allowed through the checkpoint rests with the TSA officer, so it’s essential to be prepared and follow all the necessary guidelines to ensure a smooth and hassle-free travel experience.

TSA Guidelines on Heating Pads and Electric Heaters
TSA Twitter Response on Bringing Space Heaters
FlyerTalk Forum Discussion on Carrying Space Heaters
TSA Guidelines on Household and Tools
World Standards on Electricity Plugs and Sockets
TSA Guidelines on What Can I Bring
U.S. Department of Transportation Air Travel Baggage Fees